March 11, 2019

All About Our Family Trip to Hawaii

FILED IN: Jetsetter, My Girls

Years ago, when we were traveling to Australia, we did an overnight layover in Hawaii and I have been obsessed with going back ever since. Last fall, we decided to take a week and take a family trip to Hawaii! Being Disney Vacation Club members, we really couldn't beat the opportunity to use our points to stay at their Aulani property on the island of Oahu, so we booked a two bedroom suite, invited my in-laws and hit the road.

Early morning plane rides do not make for a happy Clara. I am usually not a super fan of early morning trips, but Hawaii makes everything okay. (If I look winded in this pic, I totally was. We had an overnight stop in Dallas and Clara realized WHEN WE GOT TO THE AIRPORT, that she had left her “Plinky” in the hotel bed .”Plinky” is code for pink + blankie = Plinky. What's a mom to do? I gave everyone else my luggage, jumped in a cab and told them to go. If I missed the flight, I would get on the next one, but I had a blankie to rescue! Luckily, I made it back JUST as the doors were closing.)

We have arrived!! The view from our room. The pool was amazing and Clara lived for the slides. If you look hard enough, you can see the little hut where they sell Dole Whips on the beach. If you know, you know.

Breakfast at the resort often included a guest appearance from a character. I believe Clara is attempting to make Mickey ears out of coconuts? We also loved visiting this Stitch tribute daily, to see if he “made any trouble”. (You can also see Clara's vitiligo really well in these photos. She was diagnosed with it in 2017 and we have to be oh-so-careful with her in the sun.)

The girls walking the grounds. I loved that the little paths surrounding the resort felt like you were exploring, but made me comfortable enough to allow Clara a little leeway to be “on her own” at seven. And by that, I mean that she was allowed ahead on the path and out of my sight for .03 milliseconds.

We really took advantage of the flowers in the hair situation that was encouraged on this family trip to Hawaii. Wearing a flower behind your left ear means that you are married or taken and a flower behind your right means that you are single. Unfortunately, we didn't get this memo until further into the trip, so apparently, Clara is married in this photo. Rude. I didn't even score an invite.

I was so excited to take a day trip and visit Pearl Harbor. I think it is so important to allow kids the opportunity to really see the history and culture of places we visit and this was a big one for me on our family trip to Hawaii. We arrived and walked around the grounds and the museum while for our scheduled time to board the boat that would take us out to the USS Arizona. (Please note: I do not think you are able to visit the memorial any longer because they found structural damage which has made it dangerous for guests, so I am very grateful that we had this opportunity before it closed.)

Visiting this memorial has a very otherworldly feeling. You definitely get the sense that this is a final resting place for thousands of men and my children were very conscientious of being respectful.

It's surreal to think that the USS Arizona sank over 75 years ago and it is still leaking oil into the water. Apparently, it is such a minimal amount that it does not effect the environment.

As a souvenir, we allowed both girls to chose oysters that were opened and a pearl was removed and set into jewelry. I totally remember doing this at SeaWorld as a child (don't come @ me! This is far before anyone ever thought captivity was cruel!) and they loved picking their pearls. Oddly enough, both selected oysters with black pearls. (Again, please not the flowers are on the wrong sides. Unless mine was a secret message that I was leaving Marc in Hawaii and looking for a date???)

The next day had us off to surf school. I booked this trip though the hotel concierge and I have no idea what beach we visited, but the waves were calm and the water was fairly clear. And, considering how terrified I am to allow my children into water, I was fairly calm with this entire experience. The instructors were fantastic and made sure everyone was safe. You can't see me, but I am sitting in a little beach chair, drinking a coconut. Typical.

These two will try anything once. They LOVED it. At first. And then Clara fell off of the board 5,647 times and was over it.

We couldn't get this one out of the water. Chloe is totally my adrenaline junkie.

One great piece of advice we did receive from a friend who visits Hawaii often was to rent a car. There are so many great places to visit and see that aren't typical tourist destinations. We drove across the island (Disney is located on the west shore) over to the east and stopped at a few places along  the way.

Behind us is the Halona Blowhole, which was a really cool thing to see. Water runs underground and is forced out of a hole that gives it a “blowhole” effect. My girls wanted so badly to hike down the cliff and swim in the little lagoon, but I was afraid they would get stuck. So instead, I made them watch me take kissing selfies with their dad. Fair trade.

Please meet the beach of my dreams, Waimanalo Beach. It was TO DIE for. The water was a beautiful, warm, blue and absolutely breathtaking. We did, however, have a difficult time finding a public restroom to change into our swimsuits, so there may or may not have been a towel-against-a-building situation. Totally worth it, though.

Can we please appreciate the fact that there is not ONE suspicious piece of anything in this water?

I broke my “no swimsuit pics” rule on our family trip to Hawaii because I wanted actual proof that I was at such a beautiful beach. And, a little way down the road, there was a local restaurant called Hawaiian Island Cafe that we fell in love with. The sweetest local played the ukulele for my kids and taught them how to braid banana leaves and the food was delicious. We loved it so much that we went back twice.

A trip to Hawaii wouldn't be complete without a luau, so we found one that was close to our hotel: Paradise Cove. It was fun and the food was tasty, but the real star of the event was the entertainment. The hula dancers were fabulous and the fire twirlers were so very impressive.

Me: Chlo! Look! You match the leaves! Let me take a pic!!!!

Her: *the expression says everything*

Clara was clearly inspired by the man with the ukulele, so she needed one of her own. She sat on that stage and sang to herself for HOURS before the show began. Apparently, Chloe was feeling much more cooperative in this photo.

I wanted to take a selfie with the World's Cutest Ukulele Player.

Okay, I could NOT do a blog post about Hawaii and not include this photo. This was from out first trip to Hawaii when we were there for 24 hours and had a VERY tired little girl with us. HOW FUNNY IS IT THAT SHE LOOKS EXACTLY LIKE THE TIKI????

The next morning, we traveled to the south of the island to hike Diamondhead crater. The hike wasn't too difficult and Clara was able to do it. However, we had to wait a little longer for Grammy Kathy (my mother-in-law). The views at the top were phenomenal and we definitely got the “hang loose” pose memo. Whew.

Hang loose, Chlo.

The next day, we drove to the north side of the island to see Waimea Bay. There is a huge rock that people jump into the ocean from and my family was dying to try it. Guess who was not? Me. There was ZERO chance that I was ever jumping into the ocean from giant rock, but I did enjoy admiring my pedi in the clear water. It was not quite the same blue as Waimanalo, but more of a crystal clear water. And, on the way there, we found this INSANE place called Ted's Bakery that had world class pastries.


Look!! It's Grammy Kathy and Papa D! I know so many people complain and do not get along with their in-laws, but I feel like I won the in-law lottery with these two. They are so fun and kind and my mother-in-law can always be counted on to make us laugh, so I really enjoy when they travel with us. (Someday, I will share what happy hour is like with Grammy. HIGHLY entertaining.)

On our final day, I dragged everyone to Kualoa Ranch to see the Jurassic Park tour. I mean, Jurassic Park is a CLASSIC and I wanted to see the famous backgrounds used in the movie. Luckily, everyone was a good sport and I have the best embarrassing photos that no one will EVER see, right? Right.

Who knows what we are doing here, but DO YOU RECOGNIZE the background?? I'm certain this is where Timmy hides under a log and T-Rex attacks the little dinosaur that was migrating in a pack.

I am currently having this made into a quilt for our living room. (Okay not really, but would you be surprised?) And finally, the moment you all have been waiting for: the greatest moment in family picture history………

This was worth the entire trip for me. And let's please note that Marc is pushing me TOWARDS the killer carnivore. What a prince.

So, that's it for this Hawaiian adventure. Comment and let me know if you want to see more posts like this and, as always, thank you for reading and sharing!

XO, Christi



View Comments +

  1. By a fan x

    March 11th, 2019 at 7:07 pm

    Beautiful pics Christi is halwali were want visit u and marc great couple and you got beautiful kids I love read vlogs and subscribe u youtube lots love by a fan x

  2. clukasiak

    March 11th, 2019 at 8:55 pm

    You’re def the sweetest!! Thanks for saying hello! XO, Christi

  3. Dana

    March 11th, 2019 at 7:54 pm

    He Christi, love your blog. I have never been to Hawaii but it is pretty high on my bucket list. I love that you always do something history related when you go on vacations or trips you should do a longer vacation here in Europe (it hast so much history) and I‘m sure you would love it. I have recently been to Prague and it was amazing.
    Have a great week.

  4. clukasiak

    March 11th, 2019 at 8:05 pm

    Oh, Dana, I am so jealous of Prague. Everyone who has been there has RAVED about it. We definitely have Europe high in our list to return to! Xo, Christi

  5. Marilyn

    March 11th, 2019 at 9:31 pm

    Looks Amazing!!!! I always wanted to travel there with my husband on our 10th Anniversary. Currently talking him into it🤞🏻 Wish me luck.
    But most of all looks like you all have a wonderful family vacation.

  6. Kelly Peiffer

    March 11th, 2019 at 9:40 pm

    Love the pictures! Thanks for sharing. I’ve never been to Hawaii.
    I didn’t know that Clara has Vitiligo. My daughter was diagnosed when she was about Clara’s age…at the same place as Clara’s. She’s 19 now and has gotten used to it. What bothered her the most was the gray hair and eyebrow. With Clara being a blondie, that probably isn’t very noticable. Anyway, I just wanted to share our experiences.

  7. clukasiak

    March 13th, 2019 at 3:43 pm

    HI Kelly, I had NO IDEA that could happen!! Oh my gosh. It’s great to know that your daughter has gotten used to it. We try very hard to protect Clara from the sun, but we also know that realistically, it may get worse. So, we try to manage it and expectations. XO, Christi

  8. Annie

    March 11th, 2019 at 10:31 pm

    Beautiful pictures…. Love your new blog … you go girl 👧

  9. clukasiak

    March 13th, 2019 at 3:42 pm

    Awe, thanks, Annie! Big kiss, Christi

  10. Diane

    March 11th, 2019 at 11:24 pm

    It is so nice to see your husband in the picture tures. Also it is nice to see Chloe smiling so much. Actually you all looked great. I am jealous because it looked like so much time

  11. clukasiak

    March 13th, 2019 at 3:42 pm

    HI Diane, Ill let him know that you said that. Marc likes to hide! Thanks for the love and saying hi! XO, Christi

  12. Jamie

    March 12th, 2019 at 12:10 am

    Love this post! We’re heading to Hawaii next month for the first time so this was very exciting. And thank you for the flower placing tip! I never knew that. I’m thoroughly enjoying all your blogs, live videos and YouTube videos! Keep posting 😁

  13. clukasiak

    March 13th, 2019 at 3:40 pm

    Hi Jamie, WHO KNEW, right?! Oh, you will LOVE Hawaii!! I am so excited for you. Have the BEST time! Xo, Christi

  14. Megan

    March 12th, 2019 at 12:50 am

    Hi Christi! I’ve been a huge fan of you guys ever since I started watching dance moms years ago! I was super excited that you were creating a blog! My family and I are going to Aulani for spring break this year and this post was very helpful! I also wanted to say thank you to Chloe. I’m 17 just like Chloe and she is a huge inspiration for me. Best wishes to you and your amazing family!

  15. clukasiak

    March 13th, 2019 at 3:39 pm

    Hi Megan, Awe, thanks for the LOVE!! You will LOVE Aulani! They have paddle boarding in the lagoon, but it was so windy the whole time we were there that my girls didn’t have a chance to try it! Please come back and comment after your trip and let me know what you thought! XO, Christi

  16. Dee

    March 12th, 2019 at 12:56 am

    Love, love, love! We are DVC members too and adore Aulani! You will absolutely be back. We can’t seem to stay away and every time we go, we uncover a new little gem on the island.

  17. clukasiak

    March 13th, 2019 at 3:38 pm

    Hi Dee, I am actually staring to prefer the DVC properties that are not part of the theme park world. I thin ka Is age, I like my vacations to be more relaxed and less waiting in line, ha! Xo, Christi

  18. Elizabeth Rubens

    March 12th, 2019 at 1:07 am

    I’ve never been to Hawaii but I’ve been to Greece and the Mediterranean coast of both France and Italy. They all have that pretty blue water

  19. clukasiak

    March 13th, 2019 at 3:38 pm

    HI Elizabeth, Your comment is inspiring me to look at those options for our summer trip!! Thank you! XO, Christi

  20. Bronte

    March 12th, 2019 at 4:37 am

    Wow! What a beautiful trip! Quick question: can I be you when I grow up?

  21. clukasiak

    March 13th, 2019 at 3:37 pm

    LOL, sure! I am not sure who I want to be when I grow up, though?? XO, Christi

  22. Susan Garcia

    March 12th, 2019 at 7:10 am

    I can’t tell you how much l enjoyed this! I loved the scenery and all the fun photos. Would love to visit the site of Jurrasic Park too! I’ve seen all of the movies, and loved them all. It was great seeing you and your family in such a relaxed setting. What happens if Clara gets too much sun? Can she just wear really high spf sunscreen? Thanks so much for giving me a taste of Hawaii.

  23. clukasiak

    March 13th, 2019 at 3:37 pm

    Hi Susan, Thanks for the love. If Clara gets too much sun, her pigment dies and then we have to use steroid cream to help stimulate it. We have to be VERY careful with her. XO, Christi

  24. Alexandria Cline

    March 12th, 2019 at 12:12 pm

    My mom and step dad got married at aulani in 2016, my grandparents renewed their wedding vows that day too, my grandparents decided to take the WHOLE 20 person family to Hawaii for their 35 wedding anniversary. It was the trip of a lifetime! Disney was the I will invest in a Disney vacation Club membership! Please write a blog post discussing the pro’s and con’s of a Disney Vacation Club membership.

  25. clukasiak

    March 13th, 2019 at 3:35 pm

    WOWOWOWOWOW!~ Thats an amazing story and memory for your entire family! I love it!! Thanks so much for sharing! XO, Christi

  26. Jeannie

    March 12th, 2019 at 6:40 pm

    Please make more posts like this! Chloe was my favorite on dance moms, although I love all the girls!! I’m currently re watching the series and am on season 4! (My heart breaks for chloe😞) But this was really cool to see! I always wished they would film more of the “extras” of the girls on dance moms, so it’s fun to see stuff like this!!

  27. clukasiak

    March 13th, 2019 at 3:34 pm

    We begged for years to show the girls outside of that environment and, unfortunately, it fell on deaf ears. Glad you liked this post and I look forward to sharing more! XO, Christi

  28. Rebecca LEWIS

    March 13th, 2019 at 9:40 am

    Thanks so much for sharing your family trip.

    I have been planning a once in a lifetime trip for years now to Hawaii! Hopefully for our 15 year anniversary with the kids next year.

    Great to see all the wonderful places you visited!

    Glad I stumbled across your blog!

    Look forward to the next instalment.

    Rebecca from London

  29. clukasiak

    March 13th, 2019 at 3:33 pm

    Hi Rebecca,
    That sounds like so much fun and I think you will love it! Unbelievably beautiful! Thanks for saying hi and welcome! XO, Christi

  30. Zoe

    March 23rd, 2019 at 6:30 pm

    Gorgeous pictures. And you’re right… Clara looks EXACTLY like Tink in that pic! I’m traveling to the Philippines this year and so psyched for boba tea.

  31. تسديد قروض

    April 3rd, 2019 at 7:34 am

    Your style is so unique compared to other folks
    I’ve read stuff from. Many thanks for posting when you have the opportunity, Guess I’ll just
    bookmark this blog.

  32. clukasiak

    April 4th, 2019 at 5:16 pm

    Thanks for the love!! XO, Christi

  33. Charity G Mcfarland

    April 30th, 2019 at 3:48 pm

    Love seeing all the Hawaian sights thru your pictures hopefully someday I’ll make it there myself. Love that you included some history into such a fun trip reminds me of something I myself would do. You are truly blessed with such a wonderful family in laws included. Looking forward to more posts also have been waiting for a new you tube video from you. I absolutely love how real you are and your videos are always so good.

  34. clukasiak

    April 2nd, 2020 at 10:31 am

    CHARITY! This is the nicest thing ever. Thank you for the sweet words. XO, Christi

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